A Wisconsin jury has acquitted 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges in his homicide trial. After about 26 hours of deliberation, the New York Times reported that the jury appeared to accept Mr. Rittenhouse’s explanation that he had acted reasonably to defend himself in an unruly and turbulent scene in August 2020 when he fatally shot two men and wounded another amid protests over police conduct in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree reckless homicide, and first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. He claimed that he shot the three men in self-defense, per Yahoo. The two men that were killed were Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum while the third, Gaige Grosskreutz, survived.
Rittenhouse sobbed and was held by his lawyers after the jury finished reading their verdict.
Testimony and video footage shown during the two-week trial revealed that Rittenhouse was chased into a parking lot, at one point, by Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, who was unarmed and “behaving erratically,” per the New York Times. Rittenhouse turned and shot him at close range. Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz pursued Rittenhouse as he fled, testimony showed. Grosskreutz survived the shooting and said that he had believed Rittenhouse to be an active shooter which is why he pulled out his gun. Huber was 26, and died after a gunshot to the chest, the outlet reported.
Huber’s parents released a statement through their lawyers. John Huber and Karen Bloom said they are “heartbroken” and that the verdict “sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.”
During trial testimony, Rittenhouse claimed his innocence and stated that he was acting in self-defense. “I was never trying to kill the defendant,” he said. “In that moment, I was trying to preserve my own life.”